Two months ago, we harvested our first flock of meat chickens. Sure, we had butchered our share of ill-behaved roosters in the past, but this time was different. We’re talking premeditated harvesting here.
For several months, we lovingly raised 20 Freedom Rangers to provide meat for our family. We cared well for them, giving them a happy, full life. When the time came to harvest them, we took a moment to give thanks to what those chickens were about to provide to us.
We thankfully had a friend come over to help us that day – With the three of us armed and ready to go, we split up the duties…
During this process, my job was the evisceration table. Yep. My duty was the cleaning-out of those dear birds. My thanks to them kept coming, however, with every bird that I cleaned. Into a large bowl went all of the chicken feet – They would later be boiled, plunged into ice water, and peeled for later use in nourishing chicken stock for my family. In large bowl number two, went the precious little chicken hearts and the rich chicken livers.
Not a thing left to waste…
While the clear plan for the feet was stock, I was ready to try something new with the livers… Paté anyone???
After some research on recipes, I dug out my copy of The Nourished Kitchen (by Jennifer McGruther) as a guideline (If you haven’t picked up this book yet, it’s a must!). Using her recipe for Sherried chicken liver paté as a guide, I set out to make do with the ingredients I had on hand…
(Adapted from The Nourished Kitchen…)
Liver & Sage Paté
1 lb chicken livers
Milk (for soaking livers in; I used goat milk)
1 cup clarified butter (plus a few tablespoons for sauteing)
1/2 shallot, minced
3 Tbsp fresh sage
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
The night before I planned on making the paté, I trimmed up the chicken livers, placed them in a bowl, and covered them with milk to marinate. The next morning, we’re ready to roll!
Drain the livers, rinse, and pat them dry. In a cast iron skillet, heat a few tablespoons of clarified butter over medium heat. Toss in the minced shallots. Once they are tender, add the minced sage to crisp up the leaves a bit.
An easy way to mince your sage? Stack the leaves like little dollar bills, roll up, and slice away!
After the sage has crisped up a bit, add in your livers and cook until slightly browned, maybe 7 minutes. Next, add in the water and apple cider vinegar and simmer until the liquid is gone.
After cooling slightly, place contents of pan in a food processor and start it up! After the livers are initially broken up, start drizzling in the clarified butter (while continuing to run the food processor) until it is all incorporated.
Next, take a mesh strainer over a bowl and press the liver mixture through the strainer to remove any remaining sinewy bits. The result? Fluffy, airy, liver paté goodness!!!
Finally, scoop it up and place into your vessel of choice. Me? Wide-mouth masons all the way, baby! 😉
Store your paté in the refrigerator for up to a week. My favorite way to enjoy fresh liver paté? On top of heavily buttered toast. Every day. Every meal.
Excessive? True. But SO GOOD.
Question for YOU: What do you do with organ meats when you harvest your animals? Share in the comments!